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Poster: light into ashes Date: Mar 2, 2014 7:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Musically, the early seventies are remembered as some of the Dead’s finest years. But some of those inside the scene had a very different perspective on what was happening with the band.

Robert Hunter recalled the Europe ’72 tour:
“What I most remember about '72 was the tragedy of it. Looking back over empty years that should have brimmed with joyful greatness, I realize more and more fully how tragic it was... How much should be said? To me the '72 tour was about division. I joined to see Europe and to write songs (and because I always toured with the band) – endless European bus trips seemed like a God sent time to get the next album sketched out since Garcia was almost always otherwise occupied in the States - maybe a fourth album to follow the Workingman's Dead/American Beauty/Rambling Rose trilogy. Instead a major insurrection occured. The Bolo-Bozo metaphor was a way of laughing it off, but the always incipient schism between crew consciousness and artist orientation became decisive. Every meal was a food fight. Sensitivity to cultures was nearly non-existent. It was not only insinuated but bluntly proclaimed that the show could not go on without muscle and tech. Strike was threatened. The band was intimidated and no one was able to call the bluff. I split off from the group at the end of that tour, feeling alienated, groundless and forlorn, eventually moving to England. Though I continued providing songs and collaborating with Garcia, in essence I retired from the Grateful Dead touring and business juggernaut after 'the '72 tour. It was plainly headed for a brick wall. So was I.”

This perspective of the “schism” between band and crew hasn’t really surfaced in other accounts of Europe ‘72, though McNally drops some hints that the crew was pretty hard to deal with on the tour. (Jon McIntire diplomatically said, “The equipment guys could be a problem since they were…emotionally willful.”) They were a boisterous bunch, swinging bats and flicking knives – in one famous incident, they dumped ice cream over a young protester in Paris, who then proceeded to sabotage their equipment truck. The Dead seem to have found all this more hilarious than Hunter did.

Hunter wrote more about his later disenchantment with the Dead scene:
“About midway through the ‘70s shows became a trial for me to go to. Before then I was there with every note, immersed in the adventure - the blossom was bloomin' and there was no telling what the flower would look like. But something indefinable that attracted me became increasingly rare. Not to say it didn't show up in a thousand instances right up to the end, folks say it did and I believe them.
On the other hand, maybe it was just that I was falling into disuse, my personal relations with these "Stars" becoming strained and less productive. Pig was gone, Keith hit the skids pretty quick, I never even got to know Brent. The drug stuff was no longer experimental, just stupid addiction. I'd break away and then wander back. Coteries became entrenched and the politics were insufferable. The understanding among the politicos was: all you needed to do to work your will was to get Jerry on your side - and the way to do that was to isolate him - the rest of us could go fuck ourselves. You can pretty well suss from Rock's book the kind of contempt in which he (and others) held everyone but the big G . They had contempt for him too, but it was tinged with astute respect for his actual power.
I think this Machiavellianism was the main source of the leaks in the dream. It conditioned everything. Jerry knew it for what it was and hated it. He retreated into dreams of his own, tried to make music apart from it, but the die was cast. He was like a lost dinosaur trying to fit into a trailer home.”

Hunter missed the early years of philosophical banter with the band. “I often wish the interpersonal Grateful Dead scene had continued along those lines. We used to shoot the shit stratospherically, yes indeed we did. That's the part you won't find in the tell all books because who can begin to remember all that was said? It has to be created anew on a regular basis. Prior to 1972, the Dead was all about discourse and music. You can hear echoes of the dialogue in the music. After '72, drugs and earthbound elements established domination. Dialogue metamorphosized into employee gripes and road plans. The butterfly returned to the chrysalis and emerged a centipede with numerous legs, capable of infinite truckin'.”

Hunter wasn’t happy to see the transformation of the Dead into an organization devoted to internal politics, “employee gripes and road plans.” The original vision seemed distorted, in particular by the band’s burly road crew. After one tour, Hunter wrote “The Ten Commandments of Rock & Roll” about the Dead’s crew:

1. Suck up to the top cats.
2. Do not express independent opinions
3. Do not work for common interest, only factional interests.
4. If there’s nothing to complain about, dig up some old gripe.
5. Do not respect property or persons other than band property or persons.
6. Make devastating judgments on persons and situations without adequate information.
7. Discourage and confound personal, technical and/or creative projects.
8. Single out absent persons for intense criticism.
9. Remember that anything you don’t understand is trying to fuck with you.
10. Destroy yourself physically and morally and insist that all true brothers do likewise as an expression of unity.

Echoing this, old friend Willy Legate once wrote a note to the band about their scene:
“Bad-mouthing someone in his absence is an art form, deliberately cultivated here… Optimistic descriptions of situations are sometimes passed out to anyone nearby who is prepared to play the role of patronizing fawning multitude. The optimistic description is given with the understanding by all concerned that if it should change within the next hour or week, that adjustment will not be relayed; in other words, that anything good you’re told is meaningless. In the words of the prophet: if you don’t know by now, don’t mess with it.”

The Dead had a very macho and intimidating road crew who made their own rules, and Hunter wasn’t alone in feeling aghast at their behavior. Stories abound of their hazing rituals, surliness, violence, and random abuse of outsiders. Once in ’73 a crewmember dumped the group’s dinners over a Philadelphia promoter’s head (it wasn’t the food specified in the contract), prompting his partner to write Sam Cutler: “The crew was given as many extra considerations as we could muster… We’ve had quite a few problems with your crew in the past. You say that the band knows that they’re animals but that they can’t do anything about the situation.” Cutler responded that they wouldn’t work with that promoter again.
One Rolling Stone article in 1973 pointed out the roadies’ “habit of destroying hotel rooms,” but Steve Parish tried to explain: “We’ve shown a rough exterior to a lot of people, but that’s because you get jumpy on the road… We’re not gorillas. We’re all really sensitive guys. Well, yeah, it used to be a big thing to flip out – we were experts at flippin’ out. And we did a lot of machoing out too – a brotherhood swaggerin’ kind of thing.”
But the Dead must have found it useful to have their own Hell’s Angels-type characters on the crew, keeping the growing audience at bay. (Band members trashed their own share of hotel rooms, too.) The Dead also took pride in having their own kind of anarchic democracy, where everyone in the crew would have as much say as the bandmembers in what went on. As Garcia said, “They’re there when we have our business meetings. We’re dragging them through life, shouldn’t they have some say about it? We’re all working on the same thing – why should we treat each other any differently?”

David Gans wrote:
“In the beginning, I think, the presumption was that everybody would behave responsibly and look out for the group; but it was well known that you could pretty much do what you wanted to do in the Dead world. Those high tribal ideals the family once embodied gave way to the realities of the tour. Power went to the men who put the rubber to the road… Jerry Garcia was a most reluctant emperor. He was pretty much the only one who could have controlled any of it, from the thugs on his own crew on down, but for the most part he refused to correct anyone’s behavior. A long-time associate of the Dead left the tour in 1972, he told me years later, because ‘I realized that Jerry was never going to control his people, and I couldn’t stand to work in that sort of craziness.’”

Mickey Hart told McNally that the crew “became so powerful, and we just said whatever. That was one of our downfalls, not taking a stand with the crew. They didn’t want to work, and we said okay, whatever. It was one of the stupidest things we’ve ever done, letting the crew run the show… Rifkin and Ram Rod were the great spirit of the Grateful Dead, the real souls, but some of the other guys had other agendas, partying animals… We let it go down. It was our cross to bear. We spotted it. We thought it was endearing and cute, letting the quippies run the show. That’s what I thought. What an odd thing. Everything else is so odd, why shouldn’t this be odd? Maybe they’re protecting us from some evil… I liked all of them.”

Garcia admitted that “the quippies” were not always the kindest souls: “The Grateful Dead is not where you’re going to find comfort. In fact, if anything, you’ll catch a lot of shit. And if you don’t get it from the band, you’ll get it from the roadies. They’re merciless. They’ll just gnaw you like a dog. They’ll tear your flesh off. They can be extremely painful.”

Garcia & Lesh joked about Steve Parish once –
Garcia: There’ve been meaner guys – Steve ain’t that mean…
Lesh: Now when Jerry breaks a string, he’s lucky he doesn’t get garroted – “How dare you break a string?”
Garcia: [Laughs] Right – “I don’t want to have to ask that big guy for something – I’ll just play without the string. God knows what he’ll do, holy shit.”
Lesh: “I’ll whistle the top notes.” [Laughter]

Parish and Garcia reminisced about life on the road –
Garcia: I loved it that time when you changed all my strings but one. He just wanted to see if I’d notice…
Parish: You’re in a world where everybody is trying to party, and trying to get you to party… You’ll be made fun of if you fuck up…that keeps you on your toes…
Garcia: The road thing is, some people can adapt to it and some can’t. Some people really go to pieces on the road…
Parish: Everybody was always playing practical jokes on each other…constantly. If you ever let your guard down your foot would be on fire, or you got a real weird haircut – and a lot worse stuff that I can’t talk about… You’ve got to be able to take a hotfoot as a joke at 5:00 in the morning when you’re trying to sleep sitting up in a seat and you’re pissed off and your back hurts and maybe you’re wounded…and then everybody’s laughing at you, so maybe then you’ll laugh… We’ve had some [new] people we took out, and they only lasted like one trip… They couldn’t make it through the grueling, rigorous initiation, which goes on for years. You have to prove yourself on so many levels – little games that we play, sort of like initiation rites, on the crew. You have to run a certain gamut…
Garcia: You’ve got guys like Kidd nippin’ at your heels day in and day out…
Parish: When you’re getting yelped at, you love to yelp at someone else. We used to have some fights – people would look at us and say, ‘They must hate each other,’ but we loved each other. If somebody else from outside messed with us, they were like opening up Pandora’s box.

*

In his time touring with the Dead in 1974, Ned Lagin didn’t really have a problem with the crew in particular, but was concerned about how the wider Dead family was negatively impacting the music.
“There were crew members, particularly from Oregon, who were just great to me… There were a few members of the crew who were less gracious, cordial, and friendly, and some of the business and management and touring family were not particularly receptive to my being there. They did not want to see the band go off into outer space and not return. Collective composition wasn’t random, but it wasn’t particularly controllable; you got where you were getting when you got there. There were people who thought those prescribed happy sequences of Grateful Dead tunes should just go on.”
The Phil & Ned segments of the shows ran into some resistance. “Sometimes there was acceptance and sometimes there was rejection – audience rejection, and comments by critics and writers that were not appreciated, I guess. Jerry didn’t like audience rejection; he worked very hard to be who he was, but also to be popular, quite honestly. And people weren’t as open as they said they were…and never would be. And I think Jerry was not happy in acknowledging that. There was a lot of criticism about weird music, strange music – which none of us really liked.”

Lagin saw the conflict between the mainstream rock aspects of the Dead that were more popular and accessible, and the more esoteric improvisational possibilities that could be closed off if the Dead simply pursued audience acceptance. It must be said that the Dead managed to balance these two sides of their music, but offstage Lagin was wary of the internal culture that had formed around the band. The Dead’s “pirate brotherhood” was going sour.
“The Grateful Dead was a brotherhood like the Hell’s Angels in a certain sense, though by ’74-75 that was past being visible except as a rationalizing philosophy. Anybody who entered the brotherhood got a real, though unstructured, trial by fire. It lasted for months or years. It was like a screen test to be in the pirate movie.
“I grew up in New York, and I had a certain amount of toughness and dedication to what I was doing… They thought I could take it, and maybe give it as well. But when you were getting messed with by somebody, they chose almost always to not take responsibility.”
He mentioned a run-in he had with a Hell’s Angel at Roosevelt Stadium, where the band didn’t interfere but some crew members stepped in. “When authority figures in the band such as Jerry or Phil were present at…minor injustices taking place, they did not choose to exert a mitigating force. Some of the crew did, as regular stand-up guys… I thought there was a certain level of counterculture communal hypocrisy, of…not exercising any real level of control, involvement, and responsibility for situations they created. I think they had a highly contextual sense of loyalty and responsibility for their friends; it was a registration of some deep cynicism – and fatalism.”

“How the band members interacted in the musical realm should have been very different. But the “family” issues increasingly spilled over into the music. I think there was a lot of interpersonal politics and frustration, related to the growth of the band, the growth of the audience, and the change in the technology.
“We have a growth economy in the United States. Instead of living within our means, we have to continue to create new markets so everybody can have more and more. Although the Grateful Dead came from the counterculture, they wound up behaving just like the dominant culture… They thought they had to continue to expand to stay alive. They did that better than other groups, and longer than anybody else. But fundamentally, they were locked into the same American Dream growth paradigm…
“This was a period of transition for Phil and for Jerry and for the Grateful Dead – getting bigger and more famous and doing more stuff. Commensurate with their becoming bigger, there was, at least to my way of thinking, a bigger emphasis on a family culture of extremes and nihilism. Everyone seemed to want something from someone else… Music was not enough.”
In Ned’s case, he wanted to play in a different, more quiet way than the Dead were playing – his desire to play “minimally, delicately” wasn’t that suited to the rock-show context. “We couldn’t get back to the delicate places, the intimate, small, cozy, loving little spaces, and I really wanted to be able to play that kind of music… There was too much emphasis on electric instruments and technology, rather than on collective intuition and expression… Because of where the Grateful Dead were going, and because of the frustrations and dynamics within the band – Phil’s and Jerry’s nihilism and extremes and hardness and edge, and the requirements of meeting the demands of a rock & roll extrovert culture – it didn’t seem that we could get to moments of gentleness and delicacy that weren’t bracketed with dynamic or power contrasts.”

Aside from Lagin’s concerns, by the Europe ’74 tour the band was frazzled. He recalled, “Everybody was deeply upset…by the time we got to London, everybody was clearly doing too many drugs. We had a meeting with everybody who was on the road with the band. We agreed that everything was fucked up: to be blunt, cocaine was a problem. We all agreed to flush our stashes, which we all dutifully did.” The rest of the tour went more calmly, but “everybody was burned out…and very tolerant of excess.”
Now and then there would be LSD nights as a way to reestablish group communion, “recoup the good old Grateful Dead.” Since Keith avoided acid, he would be dosed. “No one thought there was serious irresponsibility going on, particularly since it was within the pirate cowboy brotherhood.”

*

Bear returned to the crew in 1972, after two years in prison, and noticed a dramatic change. In the earlier years, “Everything was a constant flow of ideas and so forth. And there was no isolation. Everybody was involved. That was the scene that I left. When I came back in 1972 [it was more like a compartmentalized union organization]…everybody had a job and a responsibility, and that was his, and this was his…all isolated. And this went on for two years. I come back, and there’s this scene that’s totally different, where nobody is going and helping the other guy – ‘Oh no, that’s my job, that’s your job…’ And all of a sudden I found that the three things that I did – recording, stage monitors, house mixing…there were three guys doing that job. Each one fiercely defending his little territory… It was ‘this is mine, this is yours…’
“Suddenly there wasn’t a place [for me]… I was still smoking a lot of pot, so I was being everybody’s fool. You know how with kids somebody would get down behind you and the next guy would push you over, stick you in the aisle and trip you? It seemed like that, psychically; that kind of thing was happening, so I was flopping down…and being a real nuisance… I had to figure it out: why is this different? Why are these guys not being nice to each other? Why is there this heavy jockeying going on?... [It was] power trips, lots of power trips…
“Going from something which I considered as being an almost tribal thing of everybody sharing in all of the work and all of the obligations, and helping each other like a bunch of brothers, all of a sudden I came back and it was like the union and the management…There was a lot of cocaine and they were bitching at each other and using abusive language, and a lot of beer and everything else. I was feeling very uncomfortable with the whole thing…
“I was getting pissed off at the way in which every time I tried to do something, somebody would interfere. I’m not going to lay any blame, it was a group-consciousness thing, and they didn’t even think of it that way… The scene had changed; it didn’t seem to have a place for me…
“It was too fucking much. There was a lot of coke and a lot of beer and a lot of booze and a lot of roughness and there were too many people working, there was too much weird shit going on, and there were too many power struggles at the top – management against management against the record company. The whole thing was just this weird energy going, always this maneuvering. The brotherhood was gone. There was a lot of talk of brotherhood, but from my viewpoint there wasn’t any brotherhood. It was like a lot of guys protecting their territory, this is mine and this is yours… And I was in there with this concept of cooperative, tribal, brothers all working together… It wasn’t working. I was very uncomfortable. And every time I turned around, I was pushed a little bit closer to the perimeter. Or that was my feeling.”

Perhaps the low point for Bear came when some equipment was stolen at one show and a crew member “picked me up and threw me into a water cooler.” After his experiences in late ’72, Bear apparently stopped working with the road crew for the next couple years, instead working on the band’s sound system.
“They started saying, ‘We want to be bigger… We want to go to bigger shows.’” The end result was the Wall of Sound, which Bear had mixed feelings about. “The thing was such a monster. It required so many people, so much bureaucracy, so much logistics, so many trucks, so many stages, so many boxes, so much wire, so many amps, it became this huge thing! Because it was very inefficient… It was a logistical nightmare. There were a lot of problems… This thing was out of control.”
“Eventually it just became too much, and it collapsed on itself and the band just backed away from it suddenly…one day they came out and said, ‘Hey, we can’t handle it anymore…’ In this case they couldn’t fire anybody – they always felt like that kind of family. They didn’t know what to do, so they just stopped playing, hoping that the people would go off because they had to make a living… When they started back up, they started back up with the guys who hung in the tightest. Parish was working with the Garcia Band and Ram Rod was involved… The core guys were the guys who had clung to the Dead and made something to do…and the others had gone off in different directions.”

Weir later said that in ’74 the crew was “drowning in mountains of blow… We had a crew that was being paid like executives for doing blue-collar work, and they were abusing our generosity.” According to Weir, one goal of the hiatus was to force many of the crew members to find other jobs.

Lesh recalled ’74 in his book as a time of “stresses and strains” that produced “cracks and crevices in our unanimity of purpose.” Part of this was due to the businesses they’d formed – from the Dead offices sprouted not just two record labels, but also a booking agency and travel agency. Lesh sighed, “In our naivety, the band thought that we could control all this without falling prey to the infighting and dissension that comes with the territory. At the same time, no one in the band wanted to be bothered with the boring details of such control.” Infighting and dissension soon followed, with the band firing their tour manager Sam Cutler at the start of 1974 as a result of various office backstabbings and accusations. They rounded out the year by firing manager Jon McIntire on the Europe tour after more arguments.
“We now employed twice as many stage crew and truckers as before, meaning we had to play larger venues, sell more tickets, and play more often to be able to support the sound system. Luckily, our audience was continuing to expand; even so, the financial strain would eventually prove untenable… The expenses associated with the Wall of Sound meant that we were constrained to play only the largest venues…where the intimacy we’d prized in the ballroom era was a fading memory. The stages were ten to twelve feet high, further removing us from contact with the audience, who receded into a blur of shapes lacking any individuality. Our crew was twice as large as it needed to be, and could be quite surly. Simultaneously, the psychic atmosphere was beginning to cloud up with the emergence of cocaine as the drug of choice among the crew, generating an ‘us against the world’ mindset. The amount of security and backstage space needed in an arena had tripled from that of a theater or ballroom, and the band became more and more detached, withdrawing into the famous ‘bubble’ of isolation out of the sheer desire for preservation of our energy and sanity.”
(Though Lesh says that “at that point I wasn’t drinking or using drugs,” other evidence makes it sound like he was already chugging beers pretty heavily by 1973.)

In a November ’74 interview, Garcia sounded quite unhappy about how the year had gone.
“Basically, success sucks. And all the other crap that goes along with it. We've unconsciously come to the end of what you can do in America, how far you can succeed. And it's nothing, it's nowhere. It means billions of cops and people busted at your gigs. It means high prices and hassling over extra-musical stuff. It's unnecessary…
“Our whole development has been 'going along with the changes.' It's not as though we've plotted to get to a certain level. By just not thinking about it, or not making conscious decisions about what we were doing, we ended up in that place of stadiums, coliseums, large civic-owned and civic-controlled buildings, high ticket prices, enormous overhead, in an effort to fulfill the requirement of whatever the level change was. For example, we changed from playing theaters to large places…because there were more people who wanted to see us than we had time. So the obvious thing was to go to bigger rooms. [But] that meant we can only go to bigger rooms if we sound good in them, and that led to our whole PA thing, which is expensive. Our rationale was, 'We'll divert the income into developing the resource' because, really, we have a relationship with our audience...
“But the truth is we've been stuck in this total control situation; our whole lives are controlled by economic circumstances. We're sort of up against the back end of success… It's been gradual, but that's the really insidious thing about it. We were prepared mentally for any quick jump, but going slowly into this scene, it becomes almost habitual. Finally we all realized: 'it's gotten to the point where we can no longer really make enough money to keep it working at the present rate. And also there isn't anything for us to get off on. We're removed from the audience, we're removed from what we're doing and it just is a drag.’”
"That's where we ended up in terms of the largeness of our audience and the greatness of demand for what we were doing and so forth. We felt that was a dead end and there was no place for us to go from there, so at that point the experience for us got to be totally controlled in the sense of [it being] airplanes to motels, motels to gigs, heavy security backstage, nobody near the stage. And what's worse is the way very large venues deal with people — they deal with them in a sort of cattle-prod methodology: lots of cops, lots of frisk lines. We felt like that was not what we wanted to do; that was clearly not it."

*

Ned Lagin felt that the feeling of togetherness that the Dead’s shows were supposed to inspire had become more distant by ’74.
“The collective id of the Grateful Dead juxtaposed the American mythology of doing what you wanted to do in the wide open West…with a certain tribal psychedelic pseudo-telepathic conformity about ‘being on the bus or off’ – a juxtaposition that could be as destructive as it is empowering… ‘You’re either on the bus or off the bus’ was a real clubby, exclusionary, nonsensical thing to me. It’s the pirate creed: ‘You’re sailing with us or you’re not sailing with us…’ It’s not a question of being on the [bus] or off… The idea of sense of spirit and community…and interconnectivity – unfortunately, at least the way I see it, the audience didn’t become the Grateful Dead. They just wanted to get on the bus with the Grateful Dead.”

Bear’s perspective was also that the communion between band and audience of earlier years was now gone. “The microcosm [the band onstage] and the macrocosm [the audience in the hall] are now separated. The macrocosm/microcosm of brotherhood and community, which was the Grateful Dead family, propagated out into the audience and took hold. When I went away, it was macrocosm/microcosm; the Grateful Dead and crew were the same as the people that were out there. Well, the band/crew thing, as the stages got higher…it produced a separation, a gulf. And the microcosm turned into something else, but the macrocosm continued to be what it was…
[Early on,] our stage was sometimes two feet off the floor. I was in the audience… [Now] when I’m walking in the crowd…I feel the sixties, I feel the way it all was. In the old days, there was no separation. The Grateful Dead, the deadheads, the crew, everybody was the same… It was like a family… The concept of tribalism, of brotherhood, has propagated out and maintained itself as the band removed from [it], as they got to the point where they come off the stage into limos and are gone, from the days when they walked through the hall, through the people, hung around – had a gig that would go to dawn, sometimes.”

From their different viewpoints, each saw the Dead’s ideals eroding as the “family” and audience expanded. Hunter hasn’t talked directly in these terms about the distance between band and audience that I’ve seen, but he was focused on his own distance from the band.
“My tie with the organization has been that of an outsider ever since '72. I was once described as a maverick's maverick. All I ever wanted to do, back then, was to put my full energies into the songwriting aspect of the group, but that became harder and harder to do as other matters assumed greater immediate importance. I continued to write - there must be hundreds of lost songs, since that was before word processor files, and often there was only one typed or handwritten copy which, like as not, would go in someone's back pocket and end its life in the washing machine. "Hey Hunter, do you have another copy of that song?" I'd try to remember it, end up writing something else. A few phrases might remain.”
“The pressure of making regular records was a creative spur for a long time, but poor sales put the economic weight on live concerts where new material wasn't really required, so my role in the group waned. A difficult time for me, being at my absolute peak and all. I had to go on the road myself to make a living. It was good for me. I developed a sense of self direction that didn't depend on the Dead at all."

No longer on the road with the Dead, he gradually stopped going to Dead shows altogether. Though it’s hard to trace the decline in his attendance or just what the last shows he saw were, he did say that in the later years “I only went to only one big outdoor stadium gig” (in 1987). Flabbergasted, he decided “the only way I could remain dedicated to my part of the vision was to stay clean away.”
Though initially pleased by the Dead’s burst of popularity in ’87, over the following years Hunter came to see it as ruinous. “The "Big Time" was always problematic… I don't ache for the same thing the fans ache for, so my viewpoint is very different. I don't even ache for the promise I watched going down the drain for a dozen years. Big time success meant less than shit to me. It was like a forced death march. I was in the trip to write good songs. Nothing more, nothing less. My engagement was exactly equal to the opportunity to do that.”
He felt it was fortunate that financial success came late to the Dead: “Getting this far with my spirit and creativity intact are far more important to me than getting an olympic sized swimming pool. Having "big money" is a career of its own… The increased standard of living attendant on sudden and disproportionate wealth is, to my mind, the source of the major problems which destroy the camaraderie of successful bands... Two things which allowed the Grateful Dead to become what it was were lack of radio success over the years and lack of overwhelming wealth. We were given leave to grow musically, rather than as a financial empire. That came later, but the deed was already done.”

During this time Hunter became suspicious that the Dead were intentionally dropping his tunes, even while Garcia was blocking him out as well. “Tunes dropped out of repertoire for years at a time, replaced by others, for no other reason than to have a different show. If a complex tune dropped out, it would need to be rehearsed to be brought back in, and there are so many songs some of them just went bye-bye. As I stopped going to shows, becoming less interested in pushing my material on an increasingly apathetic collaborator, a lot of my songs were replaced in the repertoire with cover tunes, which the audience found quite acceptable. I was never clear on what the message was, other than that my less than subservient stance, born of frustration, was unacceptable and I was being deleted insofar as that was possible to do, considering the backbone of the repertoire. It wasn't a highly motivating situation.” Hunter found Garcia at a “creative impasse – he was unavailable for years at a time, other than for musical projects he could accomplish standing on his head – and it was imperative that I seek elsewhere…[to find] the mutual respect and excitement in creating that is such an important part of collaboration.”

Of course, on a personal level Hunter also felt robbed of his friend – not by the Dead, but by addiction. “Heroin, period, destroyed our scene. It destroyed Jerry… I hate the drug because it fucked my life over so bad, via my friends, without my even enjoying whatever the pleasures of taking it happened to be. Watching all human feelings die from the sidelines. Being excluded from creative participation because [I was] neither a junkie nor an "enabler"… My diving experiences with Jerry [in 1993] were the only time I felt in touch with my cantankerous old friend in a decade and a half.”

In a way, by the stadium shows of the ‘80s the band were revisiting the problems they’d faced in the early ‘70s and had never really solved – if anything, most of the issues had gotten worse. Lesh wrote, “Suddenly we were drawing so many people to our shows that we now had to play mostly stadiums and huge indoor arenas… It’s a very rare stadium show that can sustain the shared intensity of focus that’s needed for ignition, let alone lift-off; the audience needs to know that they’re making the music… The psychic connection and sense of community shared by the band and the audience is the key to our music and to the Grateful Dead ‘experience.’ This connection can be diluted by the presence of too many people; especially if people were coming to our shows because they heard that it was a great party, or because they heard that they could score drugs there… Playing stadiums had been exciting at first, but the thrill of projecting our music across such vast spaces evaporated rapidly in the face of the mind-numbing sterility of the stadium environment. It came to feel as if we were playing into a vacuum, with no possibility of feedback or response from an audience that was barely visible from the stage.”

While in ’74 they could back off and try to start afresh, in the later years they couldn’t – they still felt trapped. By ’91 Garcia was starting to complain loudly about this.
One witness said, “He wanted to take a break; it was very clear… There was one meeting where they were talking about the stadium tour of ’91 and he stopped everybody and said, ‘Am I the only one who thinks that stadium shows suck? I don’t ever want to play in another stadium. Does anybody else feel the way I feel?’ And nobody said anything. But they were trapped: big overhead, big family, dates are reserved. Who’s gonna say, ‘Yeah, you’re right. Let’s cancel the stadium tour’?”
Lesh’s book has a sample of the minutes from one meeting, summarizing Garcia’s statements: “We are a community, a family, a tribe. This pressure chokes off enthusiasm. It’s killing to keep doing the same tours. It has not much dignity. The pressure is so great that we can’t stop. It’s hard to be creative with a gun held to your head. It’s a huge responsibility. (Vince adds, “We need to take some time together to rework things. Doesn’t want to stop – can hardly afford his house now.”) Talking about 25 years and is burnt-out and wants to do what he wants to do… (Kreutzmann suggests taking six months off.) Can’t guarantee the workers. We can make enough to take six months off without shutting down. We did it in 1986…we can try to do it next year… Try to eliminate the fall tour."
Garcia went at length about this to Rolling Stone that year – asked if he’d told the band at meetings that he wasn’t having fun playing with them anymore, he said, “Yeah, absolutely… The last couple of times I’ve been there screaming, ‘Hey, you guys!’ Because there are times when you go onstage and it’s just plain hard to do, and you start to wonder, ‘Well, why the fuck are we doing this if it’s so hard?’… I probably brought it out in the open, but everybody in the band is in the same place I am. We’ve been running on inertia for quite a long time. I mean, insofar as we have a huge overhead, and we have a lot of people that we’re responsible for, who’re working for us and so forth, we’re reluctant to do anything to disturb that. We don’t want to take people’s livelihoods away. But it’s us out there, you know. And in order to keep doing it, it has to be fun. And in order for it to be fun, it has to keep changing…
"We’re going to have to construct new enthusiasm for ourselves, because we’re getting a little burned out… So we have to figure out how we are going to make this fun for ourselves… To me the answer is, let’s write a whole bunch of new stuff, and let’s thin out the stuff we’ve been doing. We need a little bit of time to fall back and collect ourselves and rehearse…and come up with some new material…
(RS: Do you think you might stop touring for a year or so, like you did back in 1974?) "That’s what we’re trying to work up to now. We’re actually aiming for six months off the road… I don’t know when it will happen…”

It didn’t happen that way, but Hunter felt that by then it was too late for the Dead to recover. He wrote a year after Garcia’s death:
“Say, for example, the band had continued, with a break for a heart bypass operation for Jerry, and the problems with the crowd escalated even more? Suppose the shows became insuperably problematic to attend? It was not only headed that way, you know, it was full upon us. And say the music was suffering for this, the whole inspiration - because what kind of thoughtful musicians would expose crowds to that kind of thing just to make money or jam? What I'm driving at is the very likely probability that you and many others would find that what was so good and moving in what the GD was being destroyed by circumstance. Entropy, if you will. What happened had to happen pretty soon, whether via death or retirement. The fractalization into smaller units, forced by necessity, is probably the only real solution. Downscaling for the Dead was impossible. We were about ready for another quantum leap and it would have been a disaster. … A lot of people were already caught in that quandary. The music was often not all that hot and many didn't like what we were becoming. A mega-stadium powerhouse. Venues were closing their doors to us. Violence was erupting. It was a personal quandary for me. I often felt we should call it a day. Jerry often felt the imminence of true disaster. But who rides the tiger fears to dismount.”

All of Hunter’s comments here were written around that time in 1996, which should be kept in mind considering their bitter tone. The interviews he gave while the Grateful Dead were active are generally optimistic about his work with the band, and (that I’ve found) give no sign of his estrangement. His bad feelings about what the Dead were becoming, he kept to himself until after Garcia died.
“My dream for the Grateful Dead went down in flames too and I am somewhat bitter, but not embittered. I think that's an important distinction. I believe in the community... All I can say for certain is contained in the old expression: "the jewel is in the lotus"…of course, the lotus is renowned for growing out of the muck and mire. The jewel is the community which flourished around the Grateful Dead. The lotus, muck and mire were the band and its internal scene.”

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Poster: Jack o' Roses Date: Mar 3, 2014 11:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

As always, thanks for your scholarship & the perspective that you craft & weave from ashes of the Dead

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Mar 3, 2014 11:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Great, if really depressing post .
It was sad to see how their idealistic (naive ?) egalitarian, views , that allowed the "crew" to have equal say, turned into the coke fueled "thugoracy" . Some of this I have read before, but this just brings it home .
So many people think the Mafia, Biker gangs, "pirates",etc. are so cool, but most of the time they are just assholes , that invoke a sort of mystique to glamorize their cruel and swineish ways .
The Hunter comments were just awful to hear .
"I hate the drug because it fucked my life over so bad, via my friends, without my even enjoying whatever the pleasures of taking it happened to be. Watching all human feelings die from the sidelines
That is pitiably sad .
On a more curious note, the business of him thinking they were intentionally dropping his tunes . I can think of a lot of less paranoid reasons (musical laziness, both from shying away from more difficult songs, and needing new songs, but Garcia not wanting to take the effort to write, etc.).; but if I were him ...

Once again thanks for the work .

This post was modified by Dudley Dead on 2014-03-03 19:05:50

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Mar 3, 2014 11:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Garcia would have called this post a "bum trip!"
A lot of their ideals ended up backfiring on them since they just didn't work out in real life....or perhaps you could say that they worked best where they originated, in a small self-contained scene, and didn't translate to the larger settings the Dead moved into.

I agree, the Dead weren't dropping Hunter's tunes just to lessen his role - it was much more a matter of just Garcia's laziness. The paranoia in itself speaks volumes, though - it was one shared by lots of members of the Dead family. (Bear also complains here how he found himself getting pushed to the sidelines.)
I think part of that is since, as the band & their entourage grew, they acquired the classic scene of having lots of hangers-on competing with each other for "access" to the center, and feeling left-out if they didn't get it. For someone with much independence or self-respect, or who'd played such a central part in the Dead's growth, this must have felt galling.

In other letters Hunter is adamant about staying true to '60s ideals rather than getting sucked under by profits & success.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 3, 2014 11:14am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Yup; you said it...you want to separate the art from the artist, but seriously, how often can you do this? Why must we, all the time? In this case, via the 60s, it was SUPPOSED to be better, different, NOT the "system", not the "ripoff" and we will do "it" better (records, shows, whatever).

Then this...it's not unlike finding out that the guy writing the tunes beats his wife; if we found this out about Hunter, we would be sad, right? If he mocked the 60s and said cynical stuff like "oh, yeah--I knew the lyrics to UJBand would just SUCK the idiots in!" we'd be aghast, right?

At some level, his response IS redemption, eh?

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Mar 3, 2014 10:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Wow.

Random thoughts ...

When was Hunter's quotes re the covers? Also '96? When do they refer to? I've never quite understood the slip into pop covers; the band was originally amazing at picking interesting, not-too-well-known covers, so that was part of their early brilliance, but then ... Mr Fantasy, Day Tripper, etc ... so not only was there less Hunter, there weren't the good cover picks.

"On the bus or off the bus." Yeah, always hated that phrase. The "on the bus" part, great; but "on or off" always struck me, even when I first read Electric Koolaid Acid Test back in '78 or whenever, as a fundamentally mean high-school cooler-than-thou attitude. I've always hoped that the Pranksters were kinder than Wolfe paints them -- everything written by Wolfe has a strong Wolfe Voice that includes an intense focus on status, so I've tended to think (hopefully) that it's partly just him and his way of looking at the world, and there are many realities -- but who knows.

The crew: Everything I've read about them makes them seem like the worst kind of bullies. Lagin seemed to have his head on straight, anyway. Ironically, I think the fact that the band couldn't deal with a darned thing, and just looked the other way while the worst kind of nastiness happened, was part of the reason, weirdly enough, why the whole thing lasted so long. Confrontation causes splits and breakups. Shrugging and looking away may be denial, it may be partly a result of addiction (folks who are wasted don't want to be bothered), etc etc ... but it does mean the boat doesn't get rocked and can keep on going. On the other hand, the crew probably all needed to be fired by '72 so they could go work as prison wardens or something. Just IMO there.

We need a book by Hunter. As a rule, while there are sections of reality that emerge through the cracks, it feels like most GD books are heavy with whitewash, gloss and rose-tinted spin. Hunter is the one guy -- perhaps the one guy in all of rock and roll -- who has the capacity to look at the history, dynamics, changes etc in an unflinching way that isn't just a "tell all" or interesting in a fly-on-the-wall gossipy way, but truly thoughtful and thought-provoking. Human and humane.

HUNTER, WRITE A MEMOIR.

(There now. Since he's sure to read IA, and no one has ever told him that before, I've done my part to make it happen.)



This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2014-03-04 06:46:40

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Mar 4, 2014 10:11am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

I (again) second your "poor covers choices" comment . It almost felt like "hey , we are 60's Icons, we should cover 60's AOR rock covers ". Similarly when Furthur did the "Dark Side of the Moon", and "Abbey Road" stuff, I was disappointed at the (mostly) obviousness /unimafinativeness of these choices . And, most of the time they just didn't work for the Dead; they suffer too much in comparison with the originals, and they weren't made "their own" enough .
They might make the argument that those older songs were not that old, when they first covers them (Lovelight is from 1961, for instance) . But I can think of tons of songs that they could have pulled off well . I sure would rather have them do something from The Carter Family, rather than a lame bar version of "Satisfaction"...
And I also second your Hunter request .

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Mar 4, 2014 12:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Yes, '96; if you check the deadessays site it has sources for all the quotes. Hunter's vague on the exact period, and I think his paranoia made him a bit inaccurate too, feeling like every time Garcia dropped a song it was some personal spite to Hunter. Well, you know how some writers can be!

Alas, Hunter's made clear he does not ever want to write a memoir & rake over the past. Of course, that was years ago, so maybe he'll change his mind someday... He'd do a good job.
But I don't get the impression of the GD books out there being as full of "whitewash, gloss & rose-tinted spin" as you do. While there's probably plenty of bad behavior from the bandmembers that got left out of the various accounts, there's still plenty that got left in too. Lesh is over-diplomatic (for obvious reasons), but McNally's book is no rose garden, Greenfield's is a bed of weeds, and Scully's a compost heap.

As for the crew: if you're a band that has Hell's Angels hanging out at shows, and stoned freaks clinging to Garcia every time he steps offstage, you will probably want the biggest meanest guys you can hire.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Mar 4, 2014 8:34am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Re Hunter, he's still busy working - writing with/for Dylan, Jim Lauderdale, Mickey, etc. .. and now these guys:
http://www.jambase.com/Articles/120898/Rock-Collection-San-Francisco-Members-of-ALO-JGB-and-More

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Mar 4, 2014 1:45am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Sorry. If I could figure out how to actually subscribe ... :-)

Well, I think McNally is diplomatic in a p.r. guy way; eg he talks about problems, since you can't exactly avoid that with the subject matter, but overall, it's very on the surface, and I always get the sense that he's breezing quickly over anything truly uncomfortable, leaving it quite superficial. (Quick mention, then "let's move on folks! Next question?") It's a book of record in terms of dates, specifics, etc, but it doesn't go very deep.

And yeah, Scully's is certainly a compost heap, and Parish says a lot of pretty revealing things too, actually. Still, from what I recall (don't have copies of either one here), Scully's also reads like it was written with the help of a rock journo (which I think it was) who is putting a bit of a Tom Wolfe spin on it; and Parish is frank but still in the yeah-we-were-crazy-then vein. It's not that they're spinning to avoid the muck or anything; it's more that they're not skilled writer geniuses -- which is kind of what it takes. Someone who doesn't pull punches, not because they want to show the muck, but because they have the capacity and drive to be honest and express complexity.

And that's Hunter. I'd like to see the combo of truth-telling and deep insight that he'd really be able to provide. Barlow's a raving genius, too, and could write an amazing book.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Mar 4, 2014 8:36am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Rock is not that happy with his book - it was rushed out by publisher while Jerry's death was still "fresh". He'd like to revise and add to it but who knows if will ever happen. To hear him related stories, like the Keith Moon hotel incident or Owsley dosing the bunnies at Playboy After Dark is gut busting funny. He gets a lot of shit, but he's been through hell and back (addiction, incarceration, loss of friends and kids - son died in tsunami, etc.) but is a very bright, articulate and, at the end of the day, sweet guy. Very interesting family background - he's no one's fool (having someone that speaks fluent German not a minor asset during European tours). For those that don't know him, slam away. I'm proud to call him a friend.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Mar 4, 2014 8:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Not meaning to slam the book, actually. (I wouldn't slam him personally cuz, well, I don't know the man.) Honestly, my main issue with it is the sense that it was ghostwritten (or "co-authored") in a particular style to achieve a very specific Wolfe/Hunter S Thompson-esque effect -- things kept jumping out at me that seemed very manipulative of the reader and probably loose with the facts. But I actually took that aspect to be David Dalton's contribution. (Partly it was phrasing, partly other kinds of choices.) That's just me.

I'm sure he's no fool. Off the cuff, I'm thinking he was pursuing a PhD in something (German lit?) when he got into the rock world. One thing about the GD is they did attract some incredibly bright folks into their orbit.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Mar 4, 2014 10:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Wasn't directed at you, just others that like to always point fingers at Rock. The man certainly had/has his faults, and those "powders" had a way of messing up a lot of folks and decisions. In recent years, there has been a lot of reconciliation among a lot of people.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Mar 4, 2014 11:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

My issue with Scully's book was also that Dalton obviously had a large hand in it, and I think it would have been more accurate if Scully had done more of it himself. As it is it can barely be trusted as a source, since it reads like it's semi-fictionalized, with all the dialogue, etc. From reading interviews, it's clear Scully has a specific memory for things and could have written a different kind of book.

For instance, this was one online comment from him about the June '67 trip to New York:
"Just off the top of my head: I got ripped off directly on checking into Hotel 5 Park Ave. for $1500, our road money (per diems). I had to borrow against the remaining 50% due from the GoGo. So Stony Brook was part stealth and part fund raiser for us. The Cheetah was a bit of an Acid Test kind of experiment with the Image (more a 2nd Ave. tribe than a music outfit) and, I believe, we charged $3.00 and split it with them. They had a lengthy guest list so many got in free. I do not remember cancelling shows at the GoGo as we had taken the advance beyond our original deal. The club was overjoyed at the attention we were bringing to the club with our free shows. Zappa, having never dropped, was generally a complete butt and no fun at all."
Check the corresponding chapter of his book, and it's full of colorful anecdotes but hardly any of this specific kind of detail - the hotel ripoff & Zappa are the only bits of this that are mentioned in the book.
That said, while Scully's approach may be less useful for historians, he's one of many memoirists to take that road - Cutler & Parish also go for the colorful anecdotes. After all, they want to be readable and sell some books!

Hunter commented on Scully's book that "it shows what he thought of us (and what some of us thought of him)."
Hunter also said, “It's what Rock remembers from his own angle of interest and motivation. I only read the first draft which, apparently, was a lot more scandalous than the version pared down by the lawyers for publication. I hear the final cut is pretty tame, from those who've read both versions. The publishers also decided to cut out the sections dealing with the music. Not juicy enough.”

McNally's book does breeze through things, but it's a huge book, and everything's condensed. Also, it's clear he didn't want to write that much about the '80s-90s (the years he was with the band) - they breeze by in about 70 pages - and from the grim & ugly tone of those chapters, it sounds like the band's scene was truly unpleasant to be in at that time, so it's understandable that McNally might want to minimize that. (Having all the bandmembers reading his book might have something to do with that, too!)
Also, from the writer's point of view, it's a challenge to write a history in which the last chapters are about a slow, depressing decline. I thought Jackson did a good job with that in his Garcia bio, though.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 4, 2014 6:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

"...meanest guys around..."

I thought about that stuff a lot; back in the day, it was clear that it wasn't just that Jerry "tolerated" the HAngel mentality...he almost "actively" endorsed it, in the sense that he, I think, felt it was all part of the Counter Culture to say "that's their trip, and who am I to judge it--because they are consistent, 'true' to their calling, I am cool w it" or some such blather. Really, Jerry seems to come v close at times during the 70s to this perspective.

The others ("true believers") of the whole alt life style biz (as I am babbling on about elsewhere in this thread) viewed the HA's as "rip off artists" of a sort, exploiting the "free love" experiment for example, but I think your final comment alludes to exactly what Jerry saw as their utility ("security", eg, Altamont) in the Counter Culture movement.

Like you mentioned above, I agree v much w the sentiment that the DEAD represented, in an ideal sense, much of the good of the 60s, and I want to be clear that I think it is as individuals, and as "business related entities" that they "failed" (like we all do, nothing new there). That they found out running a record production, running a show production company, etc., etc., was simply not efficient nor viable (esp at a lg scale) when founded entirely on CCulture ideals...but, hats off for trying; and when I was rec'ing my little Round REcords in 1974, I was completely swept up in "YES! they are going to do IT! And do it right, we ME as the # 1 concern!"

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Poster: He Live's Date: Mar 4, 2014 7:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: THE REAL DEAL

nice thread LIA!

this is probably old news but i have never put this together in anyway before, not sure it goes together.

http://www.eyeneer.com/video/countryfolk/flatt-scruggs/dont-let-your-deal-go-down

Well, I've been all around this whole wide world
Been down to sunny Alabama
My mama always told me
"Son never let your deal go down"

Oh honey don't let your deal go down
Don't let your deal go down
Oh honey don't let your deal go down
Till your last gold dollar is gone

Well, the last time I seen that gal of mine
She was standing in the door
She said "Honey I'll be a long time gone
You'll never see your gal no more"

Oh honey don't let your deal go down
Don't let your deal go down
Oh honey don't let your deal go down
Till your last gold dollar is gone

Well, I'm going sown the railroad track
Gonna take my rocking chair
If there doggone blues don't leave my mind
I'm gonna run away from here

Oh honey don't let your deal go down
Don't let your deal go down
Oh honey don't let your deal go down
Till your last gold dollar is gone

9999000000000000000))))))))))))))) THEN we have, the space age version.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0BznyjqEt8

Since it cost a lot to win
and even more to lose
You and me bound to spend some time
wondring what to choose

Goes to show you don't ever know
Watch each card you play
and play it slow
Wait until your deal come round
Don't you let that deal go down

I been gambling here abouts
for ten good solid years
If I told you all that went down
it would burn off both your ears

It goes to show you don't ever know
Watch each card you play
and play it slow
Wait until your deal come round
Don't you let that deal go down

Since you poured the wine for me
and tightend up my shoes
I hate to leave you sittin there
composin lonesome blues

It goes to show you don't ever know
Watch each card you play
and play it slow
Wait until your deal come round
Don't you let that deal go down
Don't you let that deal go down, no
Don't you let your deal go down


---------------------

THE GD, they were a chaotic fling. i don't really think there is any moral to the story though. there's always bad guys good guys misunderstood guys science and art guys and anal guys and sloppy guys.

the MOST INTERESTING conclusion to draw is that the WILLFUL ALLOWANCE of pure entropy yielded such amazing results.

making the sausage is always ugly.

they were back there slaughtering the pig and providing the marrow to suck on with the way they lived their lives.

let's not make too much of it, or too little.

thanks for the read LIA.


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Poster: SpacedAgain Date: Mar 6, 2014 11:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: THE REAL DEAL

"Don't you let that deal go down"

WT:

Lines like that could never have any spiritual meaning, right.

That can only refer to the superiority of the current western version of the straight system. Yay Ayn Rand and Google busses. Down with old San Francisco.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 7, 2014 9:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: THE REAL DEAL

Oh, they have spiritual meaning alright--but for the moment, I am caught off guard by the "rip off" aspect, eh? Or am I missing something?

Strikingly similar...back to your point, though, I think that "...deal go down..." for Hunter (not sure about the original, probably moreso) was very much rooted in the current, pragmatic and humanistic interactions rather than spiritual. Meaning, he was caught up in the Human Endeavor, and writing about THAT...But that's up to each to interpret, as he so often made abundantly clear...

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Mar 4, 2014 8:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: THE REAL DEAL

Goes together great. Thanks.

Shows coming soon....

http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2014/03/william_onyeabo.html

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Mar 3, 2014 12:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Thanks for a great read LiA.

Cocaine. The a-hole drug. Combine with alcohol for even a more stunning self-centeredness and lack of self-awareness.

This makes me want to cry > "We are a community, a family, a tribe. This pressure chokes off enthusiasm. It’s killing to keep doing the same tours. It has not much dignity. The pressure is so great that we can’t stop."

I used to be angry at the survivors for not stopping in the early 90's. My early posts in the forum reflect this, but now maybe I've had my butt kicked hard enough so I don't judge too much anymore. Though if I could, I would use a wish to have them take a break for a few years.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Mar 3, 2014 1:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

After that passage in Phil's book, he kicks himself with guilt over it: "I should have immediately called on our management to create a six-month break from touring... I too was burned out from years of nonstop touring. But I still couldn't pull the emergency cord and bring the train to a halt, knowing that even a six-month break would mean the layoff of most of our longtime employees, who depended on the band for their livelihood... We took the path of least resistance and kept touring." (p.298)

The thing is, just whose responsibility was it? Was it all up to Phil? We can easily say the band holds collective blame; but recall Ned Lagin's comments about the early '70s, how the band were into evading responsibility & not taking control. These guys had devoted themselves all their lives to letting things spiral & following the momentum, while making as few decisions as possible - taking the "path of least resistance," basically.
I have the feeling Garcia was the ONLY one who could actually have said, "Let's stop." I read somewhere (in Parish, maybe) about how at meetings, anybody could propose something and everyone would dispute it; but if Garcia said he wanted to do something, everyone fell in line. I'm not sure whether it's to Garcia's credit or not that he absolutely refused to take that leadership role, instead deciding to follow the common consensus - to the point where he felt himself completely trapped by the obligation.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 3, 2014 1:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

I think the lesson is, like much of the 60s fallout, as much as it pains us to admit it, the "straight" system "works" (or at least w/out feeling to full of ourselves, the current western version of it? lesser of multiple alternative evil approaches? dunno...something like that). Thus, w/out a strong leadership presence, a vision (which such cults are a tough row to hoe as well), it was doomed from the start...the communal approach or life style just doesn't mesh w human nature, frankly (IMHO; this is a HUGE can of worms).

So, as you noted above, the essence of the band, what it stood for, was all good, all the time; the practice of much of it, like socialism, fails in the end...to greatly over simplify. I love how it was the gals (Rose???) that got UTTERLY screwed (ahem, pun intended) in the 60s, and ALWAYS had much more work to do in any of these alternative life styles that often reduced to male power trips...Betty?


This post was modified by William Tell on 2014-03-03 21:45:52

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Poster: SpacedAgain Date: Mar 3, 2014 2:19pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

"I think the lesson is, like much of the 60s fallout, as much as it pains us to admit it, the "straight" system "works" (or at least w/out feeling to full of ourselves, the current western version of it? lesser of multiple alternative evil approaches? dunno...something like that)."

The lesson IS that the "straight" system does NOT work, and waste of lives and failed dreams proves that it is NOT "the lesser of multiple alternative evil approaches."

The current Western version of it is mostly bread & circus priming of desire and fear -- and it's leading humanity into immense challenges.

I'm grateful that my aunts and uncles provided critique and some alternative (like real food), but sadly we were mostly all seduced by easy side streets. I think the GD do still provide meaning or signposts despite this:

It's got no signs or dividing lines
and very few rules to guide

Truth may be a pathless land, but we're not there yet.



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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 3, 2014 4:39pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Of course (not there yet...); but please provide something other than conjecture...having lived thru the 60s, I saw MORE failures (social experiments) as "counter to the straight world" and you don't provide ANY alt success stories...? Where are these "counter paths to Truth"?

And, ask the gals working in communes about those "easy side streets", whichever path you take...

Please expound--seriously, I'd love to see the numbers...or even one nice example.

How about UC Santa Cruz? Noble yes, but even they provide "grades" now, eh?

;)

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Poster: SpacedAgain Date: Mar 7, 2014 3:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Once a sound gal, another Betsy, was inexplicably angry with me about "we can share the women." That wasn't my trip, though I did understand her point, however misplaced. I grew up with many sisters and they did not serve food to us males as they did in my friend's houses.

Sure the failures of the hippies are many, but the main problems were self-indulgence in sex and drugs. Free love left a trail of bodies and wounded hearts. I think the failures really came to critical mass in the 1970s, as the most superficial aspects of the counterculture spread far beyond the minuscule population of hardcore hipsters.

But no one can blame liberals like the GD for the plagues of Nixon and Reagan and their inheritors like Cheney and Rumsfeld, who have dominated and wounded American ideals my entire adult life. How many trillions have been stolen or wasted avoiding solar, conservation, and renewables? That doesn't even include the corruption of the financial sector. What is the "American way of life" anyway?

You may need to go back the blackboard on your odd quote and question, "counter paths to Truth" -- why fabricate quotes? It's unscientific and misleading.

The "current western version" of the system is mostly bread & circus priming of desire and fear, and it's leading humanity into immense and frightening challenges. Despite the force of the rise of industrial agriculture and other dark forces, real food -- whole and life-affirming -- is a success story of the "hippies."

And even more important than bread, our understanding of spiritual histories is improved, with the classics of the world now widely available. There may be a vocal minority that believe in a literal creation limited 6000 of our years, but they are mostly very old and easily manipulated.

This post was modified by SpacedAgain on 2014-03-07 11:50:48

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 7, 2014 6:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Cool; I got no problem w any of that...and, I will work on my "unscientific quotes" (but truly, I type this blather so quickly, I really make no claim to ANY real truisms, or secondary quotes--it might be, but that would generally be an error on my part, imagining it to be my own? Dunno...).

Seriously--well outlined take on it all, though we might differ on how hippies influenced out diet, good and bad...

;)

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: Mar 7, 2014 7:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Hippies certainly influenced my diet.

Thanks to the many aspiring business people on tour, looking to offset the ever increasing financial requirements of life following the Fat Man, who inhabited just about every corner of every venue parking lot across the country, I have become a connoisseur of stale, cold bagels topped with nothing but the hope of something close to taste.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 7, 2014 7:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Yeah, don't get me wrong, I wish to GAWD it was all flowers, fun, and fantasy, and that the rejection of the negatives of the Establishment was easily replaced w a New World Order of peace, harmony and justice for all (as long as EVERYONE agrees on the music to live by--OUR music, eh?), the fact is, as Reade alludes to below, it's just a whole lot more complex and nuanced than that...and, our unwilling leader, a drug fuled twinkie consumer of immense appetite, was as human as any one of us; er, maybe, any two or three of us?

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: Mar 7, 2014 8:29am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

And as time dragged on, Jerry's "human" side and the gritty truth behind the "scene" that we had come to believe in became more apparent. As his life became the ever increasing focus of far reaching media outlets, we began to see for ourselves that life behind the curtain was certainly different from that purported by the almost mythical tales of what was and what might be again, if we just took enough drugs and collected enough tapes. Tales of infighting among the band's different business interests, disagreements between band members and their assorted "posse's", the more than obvious expansion of Jerry's mid, top and bottom section along with his descent into drug-fueled decay, and more and more stories of just how dirty and sad the Haight scene had become all served to rip apart the collective veil of our mass hallucination that this was still the last vestige of unsullied peace and love.

"We're not in Oz anymore" was a very common saying among my group at the time, especially as I was cleaning the intestinal sputum from my shoes in Richmond.

This post was modified by SomeDarkHollow on 2014-03-07 16:29:24

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Mar 7, 2014 8:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Food? Don't think I had any twinkies before I ralphed...
http://thefutureoffood.com/crew.html

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: Mar 7, 2014 8:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

No, I believe the chunks were those of the aforementioned stale bagels.

My shoes had most certainly become sullied.

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Poster: SpacedAgain Date: Mar 7, 2014 6:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

In the relative safety of the Bar Area, I found the food simple but compelling.

BTW, I recently found an old copy of 'Cooking With the Dead: Recipes and Stories from Fans on the Road' by Elizabeth Zipern

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Poster: Reade Date: Mar 7, 2014 7:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

The counter-cultures main problem was a complete inability to regulate themselves, to achieve consensus on issues and make decisions- to have any degree of social or political order. Sex and drugs had little to do with it.

It's like towards the end of Lawrence of Arabia, after all the various Arab tribes had united and won an improbable military victory and vanquished the Turks- they now had to figure out how to rule themselves and there was nothing they could have been more unprepared for. Their meetings around how they would set up a government for themselves made a Middle School cafeteria food fight look ... orderly.

The scene detailed in LIAs great post reminded me of Peter Coyotes memoir- the part where whole communes in places like New Mexico would split down the middle over questions like whether the bathrooms should have doors on them or not.

Jerry told a French interviewer in '71, "We have a saying in California- The Revolution is over and we won."
Well, yes, but as people seem to find out over and over again- the hard part was just beginning!

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Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Mar 7, 2014 8:25am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

> "The counter-culture's main problem was a complete inability to regulate themselves, to achieve consensus on issues and make decisions - to have any degree of social or political order."

The counter-culture's main problem was a complete inability to regulate themselves, to achieve consensus on issues and make decisions laid out in the cult-movie, Easy Rider: of the film's three main characters, the one who 'turns hippie' is the first one killed - beaten to death by a bunch of rednecks - for 'being with hippies'; the other two main characters are more brutally killed in the end, driving home the point - "to have any degree of social or political order," don't be a hippie or we'll kill you and crush you.

The same thing happened, and was spoken, to the Occupy Wall Street movement. I was, and still am in, both 'movements'. I've been deleted a million times!

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Poster: Reade Date: Mar 7, 2014 8:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Seriously? Their problem was they were all beaten to death?

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 7, 2014 11:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Hey, after a day at the forum, what w Dan Healy, Spacedagain, and Monte raking me over the coals, I feel that pretty often...

;)

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Mar 7, 2014 2:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Vegetable rights and peace!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxA0a5G6ccg

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Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Mar 7, 2014 9:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Seriously, I just said, "don't be a hippie or we'll kill you and crush you." You just deleted my 'crush' inference.

> "I've been deleted a million times!"
I've been deleted a million and one times!

> "Don't be a hippie or we'll kill you and crush you."
"Don't be a hippie or we'll kill you and 'and / or' crush you."

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Poster: SpacedAgain Date: Mar 7, 2014 6:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

''The counter-cultures main problem was a complete inability to regulate themselves, to achieve consensus on issues and make decisions- to have any degree of social or political order. Sex and drugs had little to do with it.''

Nonsense. Sex and drugs are the main levers of both desire and fear/anger.

Ok. Above desire and fear/anger is delusion, the lack of mental clarity, but given the flaw the mind seeks shelter and often trips on the seven deadly diseases of the heart. Yeah it was silly to believe that a counterculture could be built in a day.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Mar 7, 2014 8:33pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Got any purple berries?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O69L2mO9y-4&;feature=kp

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Mar 7, 2014 8:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=400nQvEfwb4

And the wooden ships
Are a hippie dream
Capsized in excess
If you know what I mean.

Just because
it's over for you
Don't mean
it's over for me
It's a victory
for the heart
Every time
the music starts
So please
don't kill the machine

This post was modified by bluedevil on 2014-03-08 04:37:56

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Poster: SpacedAgain Date: Mar 7, 2014 6:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Lawrence of Arabia is a MOVIE.

It only hinted that the arrangements about who was to rule where was determined by the British, French, and Russians. Faisal was not from Damascus! And he was imposed on Syria to avoid trouble with the Saudis, who were promoted in the Arabian peninsula. The Saudis could be counted on to be ruthless, trading Arabian oil for a free hand domestically.

None of the players had much experience in governance themselves, coming in after the end of perhaps the world's longest lived empire.

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Poster: SpacedAgain Date: Mar 3, 2014 2:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

I was very disappointed at Garcia's condition in '93-4, having finally got closer with a good seat at Shoreline. Even with attendance free (thanks bag check R!), I couldn't bare watching.

I'm just glad that Jerry's end came while he was seeking help and his intention was in direction home.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 3, 2014 10:36am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Interesting to hear so much from one so close, so critical to their success...two quick pts: obviously, Hunter is slightly miffed that they don't "go" for the latter era melodramatic efforts of his (BlAllah, TStat, etc., etc.)...or at least they didn't stick w them for long. Ah, just as I suggested, many times. har, har; but...

And, it once again makes absolutely crystal clear how utterly ABSURD it is to EVER invoke ANY such inferences about lifestyle, role models, save the world, "family values" (unless you live in the Mafia?), blah, blah, blah, from this band of crippled misfits (ahem, like the rest of us, only moreso). IE, those that "see" ANYTHING in the boys but the amazing art (music) are--to me--just insane fans attempting to draw some meaning out of them to justify their (mine included) silly worship of the product...IMHO.

Really, whether it be about how to live, how to worship, etc., etc.; the boys prove w every new factoid how utterly unprepared and unwilling (and INAPPROPRIATE) they were to serve or even be seen as "leaders" or "role models" or whatever (of course, Jerry said this all the time). Of course, this is nothing new to anyone hereabouts, but I cringe whenever I see anyone invoking anything about the way to live or meaning of life or what have you in relation to the DEAD and their music. At least as EXAMPLES, they largely failed miserably (like we have, generally).

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Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Mar 4, 2014 7:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Book-burning vs. the facts

> it once again makes absolutely crystal clear how utterly ABSURD it is to EVER invoke ANY such inferences about lifestyle, role models, save the world, "family values"

Your 'Book-burning rants' are such a petty waste of time!

"It seems pathetic that it has to be us who are publicizing the plight of the rainforest, with all the other citizens of the planet, and all the other resources out there, but since no one else is doing anything about it, we don't really have any choice." – Jerry Garcia, September 13, 1988

Grateful Dead's Rain Forest Benefit show was played on Sept 24, 1988 at Madison Square Garden
GD gives Press Briefing at the United Nations

Deleting My History is a Badge of Honor to me!

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 4, 2014 8:20am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Book-burning vs. the facts

There ya go! That was the response I've been waiting for...

I imagined YOU wouldn't take this lying down.

;)

[But, just for the record, I never burn books, just re-write them]

Whoops--got cut off: I was going to add, a counter to this argument (your "good") would be that by 87 the DEAD were actually taking on the "straight approach" to saving the Rain Forest, by in essence, throwing money at it...just sayin'; of course I overstate all of this to get a reasoned response because like you I REALLY want to believe it can work, etc., etc.

This post was modified by William Tell on 2014-03-04 16:20:49

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Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Mar 4, 2014 8:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Book-burning vs. the facts

quote-the-lion-and-the-calf-shall-lie-down-together-but-the-calf-won-t-get-much-sleep-woody-allen-3631.jpg

delete_button.jpg

Wish Life Had a Delete Key?

"Due to a 'deleting error', you have been programmed!"

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Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Mar 5, 2014 9:02am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Book-burning and banning pot vs. the facts

> "Due to a 'deleting error', you have been de-programmed!"
http://www.regulatemarijuana.org/s/regulate-marijuana-alcohol-act-2012 PASSED by Voters!

So, last night, the corrupt and biased Fort Collins city staff, the two redneck City Councilmen, the cheater City Manager, the redneck Mayor, and the pudgy FCPD chief used 'deleting errors' and 'programming malware' at A PUBLIC Hearing! The whole damned-thing was taped and archived! The streaming of it will be available in a day or two.

What I can undelete and report to you today is that, last night, Fort Collins, Colorado joined the righteous cities of Denver and Boulder, by passing ordinances that give initial approval to allowing retail pot stores and marijuana grows. Final consideration of the ordinances is expected in two weeks.

The vote, with council members Gerry Horak, Lisa Poppaw, Bob Overbeck and Ross Cunniff in support, came after a long and sometimes emotional debate on the issue. Bob Overbeck in the City Councilman from my district. Thank you Bob, Ross, Lisa and Gerry!

City Staff recommended a two-year moratorium so the City could "study pot-selling"; their presentation of the facts SUCKED! We now have a dozen mmj dispensaries in town, after Fort Collins voters overturned City Council's earlier ban on them. Study what, 'how to be a redneck'? Two redneck councilmen cried, whined, moaned, begged, and pleaded their BS for about an hour; it was pathetic: "Drink Beer; Play Football; keep kids safe." The cheater City Manager is the highest paid City Manager in Colorado. He just got a whopping $35,000 raise! On purpose, he leaves out critically important document(s) from City Council's information packets for this discussion item. Our Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem called out the City Manager for this. The Mayor Pro Tem accuses the City Manager of "Manipulation"! The deceitful City Manager admits to his huge mistake! The pudgy FCPD chief lays out a bunch of unfounded "statistics" and he has no documentation to back it up, even using words like 'anecdotal'; making a mockery out of the FCPD!

One of the public citizens who made comments last night said, "Look at me. I'm a clean-cut, young student going to classes at Colorado State University. I'm not into the Grateful Dead or anything like 'that'. I'm just a normal kid who likes to smoke pot."

Read the news story and get 'the official deleted version' from The Coloradoan:
http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20140304/NEWS01/303040052/Fort-Collins-City-Council-approves-retail-pot-sales

Fort Collins City Council deletes jazz greats John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holliday!
https://archive.org/post/1000668/its-really-quite-simple

This post was modified by Monte B Cowboy on 2014-03-05 17:02:58

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Mar 3, 2014 11:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Hunter was a bit upset that they didn't do his bigger song suites - like, Garcia only did a fraction of Terrapin - but that was perhaps the smallest of his contentions with the Dead; he was aware that Garcia would just pick out a few things he thought were most suitable, and leave the rest, and I think he became resigned to that over the years. What upset him more was that Garcia stopped working with him hardly at all, except occasionally when Garcia felt forced to produce a song. And also, in the early years Hunter felt like a real "team member" in the band, so naturally he was bugged when he started getting shut out.

I think it's possible to see the band as role models in a general sense (in the way that Garcia often said - acting as a democracy, trying not to buy into the values of the "straight" world, kind of like a musical co-op), but certainly not as personal examples in how they actually acted. I think most of them commented at various times how deadheads wanted to see them as more good, moral & pure than they actually were.

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Poster: high flow Date: Mar 3, 2014 5:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Yep. Imagine if this band was in it's prime during the era of social media. Yikes. Much like contemporary athletes and entertainers...,the more you know the less you relate. The kind of up-close-and-personal reports we from current "stars" are way TMI and in many cases off-putting.

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Poster: Reade Date: Mar 4, 2014 1:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Great stuff. What good work.

The highlite here for me is the Ned Lagin stuff, particularly this:
"In Ned’s case, he wanted to play in a different, more quiet way than the Dead were playing – his desire to play “minimally, delicately” wasn’t that suited to the rock-show context. “We couldn’t get back to the delicate places, the intimate, small, cozy, loving little spaces, and I really wanted to be able to play that kind of music… There was too much emphasis on electric instruments and technology, rather than on collective intuition and expression."

Notice he said they couldn't 'get back,' or return, to that space. He'd been around them when they played that way, and knew the difference when they strayed.
This is as good and honest a depiction of how the music changed in '73'-'74 from what it had been as any first hand account I've run across.

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Poster: Jim F Date: Mar 7, 2014 10:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Nice job on this one, and great subject matter. For me it's not a matter of it being about any sort of voyeuristic pleasure and wanting to hear all "the dirt" from the tell-alls, I just appreciate a complete, honest telling of history. And this kind of stuff was a reality.

I've always enjoyed Greenfield's book, the first half is very pleasant, it's only the last half that is a walk through the weeds. That's another case of needing to understand context, like Hunter's comments from 1996. It seems like on top of the pressures and drama of the Machine eating away at the GD Family Brotherhood over decades, everybody was in really dark moods in 95-96, maybe even 97, lots of people lost and confused and there's overtones of grieving and getting stuff off of chests and expressing regrets and airing grievances going on in the interviews from that time. Surprisingly during those years when the reset button got hit after Jerry died only Vince seemed to have really self-destructed in the fallout of the mid and late 1990's. Perhaps he didn't have enough time to hang around their scene long enough to get as calloused and toughened-up as the others.

For such a relatively dark post about the GD Family basically being shitty to each other, I'm almost kind of surprised you didn't include some thoughts on how the band dealt with things like loss and addiction outside of Jerry's all-consuming issues and habitual lack of taking responsibility. Jerry's problems affected everyone yet also mirrored everyone else's problems. Jerry was obviously influential but the others seem just as guilty of some of the more cold, brutal realities and treatment of each other. It's a classic case of hate the game, not the player.

An example of what I'm talking about would be things like the reaction to Brent's demise in the Jerry days to Vince in the post-GD world. Lotta people think Vince got a raw deal, but that's really all speculation and opinion, and a whole different element of the "Brotherhood" discussion.

I'm making this out to be too much about addiction, and it shouldn't be (though it should be interesting in 10 or 20 years when people talk about what was REALLY going on with Bobby over the last couple years, falling over onstage, "accidental Ambien incidents," checking in somewhere to get "rest," etc...). But I think it fits in with their almost religious devotion to avoiding confrontation and dealing with problems. It seems ironic for people whose music was all about being on the same page while improvising and having a great deal of talent and ability to listen and communicate onstage and react, in their business and personal lives their approach was almost the total opposite, to never react, just shut up, keep going, and hope the problem goes away.

Anyway, I just re-read the "Bear at the Board" entry, and it works well as a companion piece to this essay (naturally, they feature a lot of the same quotes). It's funny to think of two such opposite people like Bear and Hunter both feeling fed up by 72 and retreating, for similar reasons.

I've been compiling all your essays, including the comments sections, and converting them to epub files to put on my little tablet so I can read them anywhere. It's been a real joy revisiting this stuff, I've been reading one or two a night all week since this most recent one on the Brotherhood vs the Machine. Though last night I began a detour into the "Embalming the Dead" thesis.

Anywho, keep up the good work, and the other night I thought of a possible topic suggestion for you, but I'll be damned if I can't remember what it is now! Ha, I've been sick the last couple days, exhausted, and need to be excused. Hopefully soon I'll get my mojo back and remember, that is assuming you don't mind a suggestion! Not that you need it, your topics are always a good read, and a great refresher course on my GD History as I haven't read any of the Big Books put out in a while. Though that's what I like about your essays, you really dig up some relatively obscure sources and interviews, not just regurgitating McNally and the like.

This post was modified by Jim F on 2014-03-08 06:33:31

This post was modified by Jim F on 2014-03-08 06:34:49

This post was modified by Jim F on 2014-03-08 06:35:53

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Mar 8, 2014 12:36am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Thanks.
I did leave a lot out of this post, intentionally. One reason was, I wanted to keep it short & relatively focused. I didn't want it to center on Garcia's addiction, or the later years, or bad behavior by the band. And I didn't want to keep piling up negative stories, though there are plenty. My goal was just to present the problems three different Dead insiders had with the band/scene in the early '70s; though the '90s outcome turned out to be a necessary epilogue. I consider this post basically an outline or starting point.

Greenfield's book is great for reading about the nasty stuff I didn't include. As you said, since he did his interviews in '95/96, it was all fresh in mind and everyone was feeling really guilty & full of regrets & grievances, so it sure gives that book a dark feel.
McNally's later chapters do make it pretty clear the band was barely communicating with each other in the later years - as Barlow said, their emotional rapport "ran the gamut from irony to sarcasm." And I think it's obvious it was an extremely unhealthy/self-destructive scene to be in, no matter what year - some could cope, some escaped, some died - but that's a pretty common aspect of rock bands! Not a haven for gentle souls, for sure.

Sure, I'll consider topic suggestions...if they appeal to me...but I have a backlog of topics I'd like to get to!

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Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Mar 8, 2014 7:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Dirty Laundry, (in-)Fighting, and Reconciliation are things that "go with 'the territory'." Thanks for writing this essay. I appreciate 'working with you' on undeleting this stuff...

'Dirty Laundry' is the heartbeat of my freaked-out, hippie-essay about electronics and taping:
- http://archive.org/post/1006694/more-info-about-ampex
[ On Feb 25, Brewster told me, "Wow! That is the most elaborate forum post in the archive's history. It will take a bit of time to digest, and glad it is there. What a positive view." ]

'(in-)Fighting' - how about the b.s. fiasco I was in the middle of, and web-master for, in early 2009? It's Deleted!
- http://bluegrasstoday.com/bush-and-the-bluegrass-hotel-redux/

'contemporary lack of Reconciliation' is my area of expertise; that's why I wrote my freaked-out, hippie-essay 'thesis story':
- for example, how many times have I been 'deleted' in this thread?

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Poster: steam locomotive Date: Mar 9, 2014 7:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Very interesting post. Coming late to this, I realize, but I might just point out (if someone hasn't already) that Hunter seems to be drawing a connection between the band's moral and creative deterioration. The same group that was increasingly satisfied to remain abstracted from the abuses taking place under their authority, and to allow politicking to overtake any kind of direct communication, was also increasingly unable to write songs together. Obviously, Hunter has a dog in this particular fight, but it's hard to argue with the evidence here, if one compares the glut of new music in, say, 1971, with its absence even 10 years later.

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Poster: SpacedAgain Date: Mar 3, 2014 2:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Excellent content.

It really adds perspective to the lotus quote from Robert Hunter that I hadn't paid much attention to before Jerry passed. Dress it up some more and it would rightly find a place in a major publication. It would be good for Rolling Stone even.

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Poster: turnphilup Date: Mar 3, 2014 5:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Brotherhood vs. the Dead Machine

Great post as always. Only thing I can add, is that I saw Hunter in Nov.of '90 and he mentioned at this show how him being at the first European show with the boys was the first time in a long time for him that he felt like something close to "the old days". Seeing where that show was I think he was glad to be with them without all the baggage of what the American audiences were bringing to each show. Wonder if that was his last time. Peace